David Vincent Wolf
Although you may not have heard of YOUNG THE GIANT, chances are you’ve heard their music. Tracks from the quintet’s 2011 debut have appeared everywhere — from a Michelob Ultra commercial to The Voice. Continuing to trend upward, the band’s sophomore record, Mind Over Matter (Roadrunner Records, $12), has gotten 2014 off to a great start for new music. Singer Sameer Gadhia took time to bring those unfamiliar with the group up to speed.

“We formed in Irvine, Calif., in 2004. We were all involved in the local music scene in high school and learned about each other through friends or local performances, and we began playing with each other after realizing our goals were the same.”

“At our inception, contemporary bands such as The Strokes, Interpol, The Stills, Radiohead, Beck, Broken Social Scene and local heroes Delta Spirit and The Colour heavily influenced us. More recently, however, we have been inspired by the past: kraut­rockers Can, David Bowie, Talking Heads, The Smiths — as well as R&B/rap/soul: D’Angelo and A Tribe Called Quest.”

“Aesthetically, we let the record take its own shape without much thought. We have never tried to sound a particular way, and this record still remains true to that mantra. Many songs were recorded live with us all in the same room, as before; others were constructed in the studio. Some songs were written through pure stream of consciousness, as before; others were written as more focused pieces of music evolving from a clear lyrical thought. Mind Over Matter is the battle to achieve personal peace and happiness, internal and resolute, completely free from others’ expectations and opinions.”